‘International Winter Fest’ launched in Gateway

Take a look, and enjoy seeing how businesses are bringing a new outer East Portland event to the Gateway Discovery Park …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, the new Gateway Discovery Park comes alive with novel event called “Celebrating Gateway: An International Winter Festival”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The members of one of the most diverse business districts in the city, the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) they say, decided to create a new celebration to show Portlanders that its diversity is one of its strengths.

That idea became “Celebrating Gateway: An International Winter Festival”, which was held on Saturday afternoon, December 1, in the plaza of Gateway Discovery Park on NE Halsey Street at 106th Avenue.

Here showing traditional ways to celebrate Christmas is the event’s organizer, Chris Allen.

“The idea arose because, often during the Holidays, our funeral home hosts ‘services of remembrances’ for community members,” recalled its organizer, and GABA member, Chris Allen manager of Advantage Funeral Home – Gateway.

Working with other GABA members, as well as their Venture Portland coordinator Calvin Hoff and with Portland Parks & Recreation, they created this, the first of their annual seasonal events, Allen told East Portland News.

With a booth filled with food, toys, and traditions of Hanukkah, is Neahama Vennet-Teasdale, who represented Congregation Shir Tikvah.

The leader of the East Portland Parks Coalition, Linda Robinson, encourages people to become more involved in their city parks.

The crowds who attended visited stations hosted by Gateway businesses, and learned how Syrians, Swedes, Israelis, and others celebrate this time of year in the United States, while they nibbled on cookies and sipped warm beverages.

“Our vision for this festival is for it to become an event people will look forward to, here in the Gateway area – and perhaps grow into something in the Gateway area that would eventually become a large-scale celebration that will endure for decades,” Allen said.

Face painter is Roger Wytter gives a stunning makeover to Malina Sheley.

To learn more about the Gateway Area Business Association, visit their official website: CLICK HERE – or, for those inclined, CLICK HERE to open their Facebook page.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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